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Harassment and Stalking

Harassment and stalking allegations can arise from a number of different circumstances. Some cases stem from long-term relationships that ended between intimate partners and spouses, while others involve casual acquaintances or even complete strangers.

As we live in a time where the internet is constantly expanding and new cell phone applications are frequently created, it is easier for people to establish connections. This ease of connectivity had led to forms of harassment and stalking to take place through the internet and electronic devices.

An arrest for harassment or stalking is often made based solely on the accusations of the alleged victim and what he or she may have perceived. These types of arrests take place because a warrant is not required prior to arresting a person suspected of harassing or stalking, only probable cause.

Costly penalties could result from being arrested on allegations of harassment or stalking. However, a person that has been charged with one of these crimes does not have to face the burden of one of these convictions on their record. All hope is not lost.

Houston Harassment and Stalking Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with misdemeanor harassment, cyber-harassment, felony stalking, felony cyberstalking, or aggravated stalking in Houston, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including, The Woodlands, Conroe, Humble, Tomball, Spring, North Houston, South Houston, The Heights, Bellaire, or any city within Montgomery County and Harris County, contact Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 to receive your free consultation. Attorney Matt Horak is experienced with stalking cases and cyberstalking laws in Texas and will diligently attempt to help you avoid the penalties associated with your alleged stalking offense.

Attorney Matt Horak is experienced with all domestic violence related offenses, including stalking, cyber stalking, harassment, domestic assault, online impersonation, and violation of a protection order.

With offices conveniently located in both Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, call Attorney Matt Horak at Horak Law for your free confidential consultation at (713) 225-8000 about your stalking case. You will be represented by an experienced and well-respected defense attorney capable of helping you navigate your case through the legal system and potentially avoiding the worst consequences.

Texas Stalking and Harassment Information Center


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What is Harassment?

According to Texas Penal Code section §42.07,  a person can be charged with harassment if they intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another person by doing one of the following acts:

  • The defendant initiated communication and in the course of the communication made a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that was obscene;
  • The defendant threatened to inflict bodily injury or to commit a felony against the other person, a member of the other person's family, or to the other person's property in a manner that was reasonably likely to alarm the recipient of the threat;
  • The defendant purposely conveyed a false report that another person suffered death or bodily injury, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report;
  • The defendant caused the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or made repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;
  • The defendant made a telephone call and intentionally failed to hang up or disengage the connection; or
  • The defendant knowingly permitted a telephone under their control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section

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What are the Criminal Penalties for Harassment?

Being convicted of harassment could be very costly in multiple ways.  A defendant without a previous harassment conviction could be sentenced to 180 days in jail and receive a fine of up to $2,000.

However, if the defendant was previously convicted of harassment, their charge is enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor which could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000.


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What is Stalking?

Pursuant to section §42.072 of the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with stalking if on more than one occasion the person knowingly engaged in the same course of conduct directed specifically at another person, and either:

  • The defendant knew or should have reasonably known the other person would have regarded it as threatening bodily injury or death to the other person, a member of the other person's family, a member of the other person's household, or an individual with whom the other person is in a dating relationship, or against the other person's property;
  • The defendant caused the other person, a member of the other person's family or household, or an individual with whom the other person is in a dating relationship, to have been placed in fear of bodily injury or death, or fear that an offense will be committed against their property; or
  • The defendant would have caused a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or death for himself, a member of the person's family, a member of the person's household, for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship, or fear that an offense will be committed against the person's property.

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What are the Penalties for Stalking?

A defendant that is convicted of stalking could face severe and costly penalties. If the defendant has never been previously convicted of a stalking offense, their offense will be considered a third-degree felony. Being convicted of a felony of the third degree imposes a mandatory prison sentence of up to 10 years and a monetary fine of up to $10,000.

If the defendant is a repeat offender, meaning the defendant has been previously convicted of a stalking offense, he or she may be charged with a second-degree felony. A conviction of a second-degree felony requires a mandatory prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.


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What is "Cyber Stalking"?

In recent years, people have voluntarily become more accessible through the use of cellular phones and social media platforms. But becoming more accessible to the world they have, in turn, opened themselves up to being harassed and stalked through the internet, and also being accused of doing the harassing and stalking.

According to Texas Penal Code section §42.07, a person committed an offense if they intended to send repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another.

"Electronic communication” is defined by Texas Penal Code section §42.07 as being a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system. The term includes communications made through electronic mail (e-mail), instant message, network call, or facsimile machine (fax machines).


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What are the penalties for "Cyber Stalking"?

Being convicted of harassment could be very costly in multiple ways.  A defendant without a previous harassment conviction could be sentenced to 180 days in jail and receive a fine of up to $2,000.

However, if the defendant was previously convicted of harassment, their charge is enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor which could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000.


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Where Can I Learn More about Harassment and Cyber Stalking?

Attorney General of Texas ǀ Information on Stalking- The Attorney General of Texas provides critical information for victims of stalking and cyberstalking, including frequently asked questions about stalking, Texas stalking and harassment laws, and other resources. Access the link for more information.

Bureau of Justice Statistics ǀ Stalking Statistics- The Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States’ primary source for criminal justice statistics, provides national statistics on different stalking behaviors, including making of unwanted phone calls, sending unsolicited letters or emails, and spying or following the victim. Access the link for more information.

National Institute of Justice ǀ Stalking Prevention- As part of its crime and prevention initiative, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provides educational information for the public regarding stalking and the arrest and prosecution of stalking.


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Horak Law  ǀ Harris County Stalking Attorney 

Serious penalties could result from harassment and stalking offenses in Texas. However, a person that has been charged with a stalking offense of any form does not necessarily have to face a conviction on their record but their matter must be address expediently.

Contact Horak Law for your free confidential consultation at (713) 225-8000 about your harassment or stalking case. You will be represented by an experienced and well-respected defense attorney who can help you navigate your case through the legal system and potentially avoid the worst consequences.

If you have been charged with misdemeanor harassment, cyber-harassment, felony stalking, felony cyberstalking, or aggravated stalking in Houston, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including, The Woodlands, Conroe, Humble, Tomball, Spring, North Houston, South Houston, The Heights, Bellaire, or any city within Montgomery County and Harris County, contact Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 or submit an online form to receive your free consultation. Attorney Matt Horak is experienced with stalking cases and cyberstalking laws in Texas and will diligently attempt to help you avoid the penalties associated with your alleged stalking offense.


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Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014